Regular readers know that I like good baseball writing. So on a night when the Nationals are uncharacteristically beating up the Astros with 13 runs and 21 hits in a laugher, it was a double treat to find a great story on ESPN.com by Jayson Stark.
Best, worst, and weirdest of the first half is a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of April – July 2009 in Major League Baseball. Stark goes through his first half Cy Young winners, but he also calls out the Cy Yuk winner for the worst pitcher in each league. Yep, you guessed it…former National Daniel Cabrera won that dubious award for the National League. Cabrera got the boot…
…from a boss so exasperated by his work that GM Mike Rizzo actually announced to the Washington Post, right out loud, that he had to dump this guy because “I was tired of watching him.
There are little gems throughout, but the laugh out loud stuff comes in the “Injuries of the Year” section. Here’s Stark’s take:
First prize: Another great moment in Cub-dom: Pitcher Ryan Dempster tried to hop over the dugout fence to go high-five it up after a win, broke his toe and stumbled right onto the disabled list. Dempster’s best line (to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer): “I guess it’s what I get for making fun of the guys who go on the DL for burning their faces in the suntan booth.”
Second prize: Reds outfielder Chris Dickerson knocked himself out of the lineup — literally — when he went mano-a-skullo with a revolving glass door at the team hotel in Pittsburgh. And lost. “My real story,” he quipped, “is I hit my head on the rim during a celebrity slam-dunk contest.”
Third prize: How did Blue Jays pitcher Ricky Romero land on the DL in April? He hipped and he hopped and he strained his oblique — by sneezing while listening to rap music.
Honorable mention: Royals reliever Kyle Farnsworth needed stitches in his hand after getting cut trying to break up a fight between his two bulldogs. … Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez strained his back getting out of a cab — and missed six straight games. … And Phillies reliever Scott Eyre proved once and for all that running from the bullpen to the mound is overrated. He strained a calf muscle on the way — and wound up on the disabled list. Tell that to the speed-up-the-game police!
Read the entire story and see if you don’t chuckle (at least) a time or two.
More to come…